[ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 19

mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org
Thu Nov 26 13:55:19 PST 2015


A couple of points:
1) I don't understand what is meant by "an ethical issue" in relation to alcohol and alcoholism - is someone trying to be moralistic about drinking? 
2) LD was not an alcoholic. He was a heavy drinker, almost entirely devoted to wine - in his later years, a light petillant white which his companion more or less imposed on him rather than his favourite red. An alcoholic is someone who cannot go a day without a serious quantity of drink - of whatever kind - whatever is available. D wasn't like that. Yes, his brother suffered more from heavy drinking. Liver failure killed him. It didn;'t kill LD. Liver failure can happen to a bishop, and frequently does.
3) If Dr GiffoRd does not wish to "be a Darley" - that is, have "exciting sexual adventures" well who are we to either approve or disapprove of his self-denial?
There is something seriously worrying about people pontificating about other people's predilections and their behaviour. We will worry next about novels in which pedestrians are sentenced to death for J-walking - what does that tell us about the novelist?
RP
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Subject: ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 19

Send ILDS mailing list submissions to	ilds at lists.uvic.caTo subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit	https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ildsor, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to	ilds-request at lists.uvic.caYou can reach the person managing the list at	ilds-owner at lists.uvic.caWhen replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specificthan "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."Today's Topics: 1. Re: ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18 (mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org) 2. Madness (Bruce Redwine) 3. Re: Alcoholism (Marc Piel) 4. Re: Alcoholism (James Gifford) 5. Re: Alcoholism (Bruce Redwine) 6. Re: Alcoholism (Denise Tart & David Green) 7. Re: Alcoholism (James Gifford) 8. Re: ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18 (mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org) 9. Re: Alcoholism (William Apt)----------------------------------------------------------------------Message: 1Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 23:02:20 +0000From: mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.orgTo: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18Message-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Looking through my MINDSCAPE (revised edition) I am struck by the frequency of the references to, and dicussion of, madness. Especially the chapter devoted to TUNC and NUNQUAM. But LD's own ideas about madness can be found in a notebook which may date as early as 1939: ?madnessis merely a revolution in behaviour, not an interior schism or disease?. Also, in my discussion of the QUINTET, I pay much attention to the characters of Livia and Sylvie: ?frozeninto the total madness of insight?.: ?though she has very distinct marks of madness in her look one alwaysfeels that to call her insane would be to put all ontology to the question?. Sobering words. LD himself, as I say in the book, was, while writing TUNC and NUNQUAM, afraid that he himself was not merely "on the edge of madness" but about to topple in. His very clearly drunken notes from that period, and from his very last notebook, make it clear to me that he was quite frightened by this, exarcebated as it was by the theme! running through TUNC/NUNQUAM, that civilisation itself was enetring a period of madness.RP-----Original Message-----From: ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca [mailto:ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca]Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 03:00 PMTo: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18Send ILDS mailing list submissions to	ilds at lists.uvic.caTo subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit	https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ildsor, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to	ilds-request at lists.uvic.caYou can reach the person managing the list at	ilds-owner at lists.uvic.caWhen replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specificthan "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."Today's Topics: 1. Re: Indian Mertaphysics (Rick Schoff) 2. Alcoholism (James Gifford) 3. Re: Alcoholism (Bruce Redwine)----------------------------------------------------------------------Message: 1Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 08:40:40 -0500From: Rick Schoff To: james.d.gifford at gmail.com, ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: Re: [ilds] Indian MertaphysicsMessage-ID:	Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"As new to the list, I find these discussions fascinating. As I'vementioned, I am simply an avid reader of Durrell, and have reread thefiction in particular many times. I've re! ad one informative but notparticularly interesting bigraphy, as well as numerous articles aboutDurrell over the years. I recently found a copy of Richard Pine's"Mindscape" and look forward to reading that.In reading comments by scholars, some of whom spent ime with Durrell, andseeing issues raised such as professed unhappiness, boredom, violence infiction and real life, and self-loathing - I couldn't help but recallnumerous references over the years to Durrell's use of alcohol. I oftenhesitate to read biographical material about artists whose work I greatlyadmire, but having delved a little into Durrell's life, I couldn't helpwondering what effect Durrell's alleged steady drinking might have had onhis life and work. I understand he was a ferociously intelligent man withboundless energy, who led a fascinatingly exotic life. I saw one comment bysomeone who knew him (I don't recall who) that relayed that when writingDurrell lived on the 'edge of madness'. I couldn't help but w! onder aboutthe psycholgocal aspects.For many reasons, I proffer this issue very tentatively, but my interestand curiosity have gotten the better of me. 'Alcohol and the writer' isalmost a cliche, but I don't find anything of Durrell's cliched. He was anoriginal.- Rick SchoffOn Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 3:09 PM, James Gifford wrote:> Hello all,>> These are helpful comments, Gulshan. One small correction -- the> "Forgetting A Homeless Colonial" is my own piece in /jouvert/, which is> online:>> http://english.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v6i1-2/giffor.htm>> I'm glad to hear it was of use! For anyone who doesn't know, the /Pied> Piper of Lovers/ and /Panic Spring/ editions are in stock for the various> European Amazon sites via their lightning service. I don't think that> applies to India, but they're still very much in print.>> I'm also glad for your comments on Elizabeth Gilbert. What you call> touching innocence is really a material legacy of colonialism. We have> this in Canada as well, and it's at least good for tourism revenues, but it> incurs costs to! o... I tend to see Durrell as very clear eyed on that point> in its various complexities.>> All best,> James> _______________________________________________> ILDS mailing list> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds>-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Message: 2Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 07:48:57 -0800From: James Gifford To: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: <5655D869.5040800 at gmail.com>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowedWelcome to the listserv Rick!The alcoholic writer can be a cliche mainly because there are so many ready examples (Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Lowry, &c.). Often there can be a tendency to diagnose from a distance (self-medicating for depression & such), but I'm dubious of those kinds of conversations with dead people. I've never been sure how to read the matter in the fiction for Durrell -- for Hemingway! , "drunk" or "tight" carry broader meanings, almost allegorical, and certainly a conscious part of the construction of the text. I don't really see the same in Durrell, although it could be interesting to be convinced otherwise.There is a bit of shift in alcohol across the works as well. In /Pied Piper of Lovers/ (1935) there isn't much alcohol at all, apart from a peculiar cocktail at a party (bunny hug) and a first juvenile indulgence. By /Panic Spring/ (1937), there's an empty bottle of gin, but not for Durrell's alter ego Walsh. From around the same time biographically, Theodore Stephanides recounts Durrell and Miller discovering a Corfiot cafe with much English gin, to their great satisfaction (in Stephanides' memoirs from James Brigham's papers).After that, all bets are off... Biographically, MacNiven presents the mid-1950s as particularly liquid and the 1980s as especially so, for different reasons.All best,JamesOn 2015-11-25 5:40 AM, Rick Schoff wrote:> As new to the list, I find these discussions fascinating. As I've> mentioned, I am ! simply an avid reader of Durrell, and have reread the> fiction in particular many times. I've read one informative but not> particularly interesting bigraphy, as well as numerous articles about> Durrell over the years. I recently found a copy of Richard Pine's> "Mindscape" and look forward to reading that.>> In reading comments by scholars, some of whom spent ime with Durrell,> and seeing issues raised such as professed unhappiness, boredom,> violence in fiction and real life, and self-loathing - I couldn't help> but recall numerous references over the years to Durrell's use of> alcohol. I often hesitate to read biographical material about artists> whose work I greatly admire, but having delved a little into Durrell's> life, I couldn't help wondering what effect Durrell's alleged steady> drinking might have had on his life and work. I understand he was a> ferociously intelligent man with boundless energy, who led a> fascinatingly exotic life. I saw one comment by someone wh! o knew him (I> don't recall who) that relayed that when writing Durrell lived on the> 'edge of madness'. I couldn't help but wonder about the psycholgocal> aspects.>> For many reasons, I proffer this issue very tentatively, but my interest> and curiosity have gotten the better of me. 'Alcohol and the writer' is> almost a cliche, but I don't find anything of Durrell's cliched. He was> an original.>> - Rick Schoff------------------------------Message: 3Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:18:34 -0800From: Bruce Redwine To: James Gifford ,	James Gifford	Cc: Bruce Redwine Subject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: <8DA02DE7-300C-4C9C-8468-909E42C276A1 at earthlink.net>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"In his latter years, alcoholism became a big problem for Durrell. Read his memoir A Smile in the Mind?s Eye (1980) and you?ll see his own account of much alcohol he was consuming on a daily basis. I seem to recall it was in excess of 2 1/2 bottles of wine a day. Living "on the edge of madness? is Sappho Jane Durrell?s expression. She also calls her father a ! ?demonic and aggressive drunkard? (Granta 37 [1991]) and says he used his liver ?like a punching bag.? I don?t recall alcohol becoming a fixture of Durrell?s writings until Bitter Lemons (1957), where I first learned the British term toper. A critic at the time pointed out its prominent use. Durrell and alcohol make me think of Lytton Strachey?s End of General Gordon (1918). The general had two obsessions: the Old Testament and the whiskey bottle. He would periodically go off on his binges. Strachey comments that ?the true drunkenness lay elsewhere.? ?Elsewhere? was not a matter of religiosity, rather some un! defined personal ?demon.? Same with Durrell, in my opinion.Bruce> On Nov 25, 2015, at 7:48 AM, James Gifford wrote:> > Welcome to the listserv Rick!> > The alcoholic writer can be a cliche mainly because there are so many ready examples (Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Lowry, &c.). Often there can be a tendency to diagnose from a distance (self-medicating f! or depression & such), but I'm dubious of those kinds of conversations with dead people. I've never been sure how to read the matter in the fiction for Durrell -- for Hemingway, "drunk" or "tight" carry broader meanings, almost allegorical, and certainly a conscious part of the construction of the text. I don't really see the same in Durrell, although it could be interesting to be convinced otherwise.> > There is a bit of shift in alcohol across the works as well. In /Pied Piper of Lovers/ (1935) there isn't much alcohol at all, apart from a peculiar cocktail at a party (bunny hug) and a first juvenile indulgence. By /Panic Spring/ (1937), there's an empty bottle of gin, but not for Durrell's alter ego Walsh. From around the same time biographically, Theodore Stephanides recounts Durrell and Miller discovering a Corfiot cafe with much English gin, to their great satisfaction (in Stephanides' memoirs from James Brigham's papers).> > After that, all bets are off... Biographically, MacNiven presents the mid-1950s as particularly liquid and the 19! 80s as especially so, for different reasons.> > All best,> James> > On 2015-11-25 5:40 AM, Rick Schoff wrote:>> As new to the list, I find these discussions fascinating. As I've>> mentioned, I am simply an avid reader of Durrell, and have reread the>> fiction in particular many times. I've read one informative but not>> particularly interesting bigraphy, as well as numerous articles about>> Durrell over the years. I recently found a copy of Richard Pine's>> "Mindscape" and look forward to reading that.>> >> In reading comments by scholars, some of whom spent ime with Durrell,>> and seeing issues raised such as professed unhappiness, boredom,>> violence in fiction and real life, and self-loathing - I couldn't help>> but recall numerous references over the years to Durrell's use of>> alcohol. I often hesitate to read biographical material about artists>> whose work I greatly admire, but having delved a little into Durrell's>> life, I couldn't help wondering what effect Durrel! l's alleged steady>> drinking might have had on his life and work. I understand he was a>> ferociously intelligent man with boundless energy, who led a>> fascinatingly exotic life. I saw one comment by someone who knew him (I>> don't recall who) that relayed that when writing Durrell lived on the>> 'edge of madness'. I couldn't help but wonder about the psycholgocal>> aspects.>> >> For many reasons, I proffer this issue very tentatively, but my interest>> and curiosity have gotten the better of me. 'Alcohol and the writer' is>> almost a cliche, but I don't find anything of Durrell's cliched. He was>> an original.>> >> - Rick Schoff-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Subject: Digest Footer_______________________________________________ILDS mailing listILDS at lists.uvic.cahttps://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds------------------------------End of ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18*************************************-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Message: 2Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:18:33 -0800From: Bruce Redwine To: James Gifford Cc: Bruce Redwine Subject: [ilds] MadnessMessage-ID: <32654BC5-5625-412A-9B6E-AD7CD23E2217 at earthlink.net>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"As Richard rightly suggests, Lawrence Durrell may have been too much in tuned with the ?madness? of modern civilization. From the perspective of German literature, Romantic through Modern, Erich Heller has written about this in his Disinherited Mind (1959) and other works of criticism. Friedrich H?lderlin had mental illness, and Nietzsche went mad (although probably due to syphilis). As Lady Caroline Lamb said, Lord Byron was of course ?mad, bad, and dangerous to know.? Sappho Jane says pretty much the same thing about her father. Who can read today?s newspapers and not conclude that our times are indeed ?mad??Bruce> On Nov 25, 2015, at 3:02 PM, mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.org wrote:> > Looking through my MINDSCAPE (revised edition) I am struck by the frequency of the references to, and dicussion of, madness. Especially the chapter devoted to TUNC and NUNQUAM. But LD's own ideas about madness can be found in a notebook which may date as early as 1939: ?madness is merely a revolution in behaviour, not an interior schism or disease?. Also, in my discussion of the QUINTET, I pay much attention to the characters of Livia and Sylvie: ?frozen into the total madness of insight?.: ?though she has very distinct marks of madness in her look one always feels that to call her insane would be to put all ontology to the question?. Sobering words. LD himself, as I say in the book, was, while writing TUNC and NUNQUAM, afraid that he himself was not merely "on the edge of madness" but about to topple in. His very clearly drunken notes from that period, and from his very last notebook, make it clear to me that he was quite frightened by this, exarcebated as it was by the! theme running through TUNC/NUNQUAM, that civilisation itself was enetring a period of madness.> RP> -------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Message: 3Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 02:11:16 +0100From: Marc Piel To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" Subject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: <82A5BFEB-65CF-4FD3-8141-D7446C41E4B3 at marcpiel.fr>Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=utf-8Surely you cannot compare wine (11?) and whisky(>45?)MarcEnvoy? de mon iPad> Le 25 nov. 2015 ? 18:18, Bruce Redwine  a ?crit :> > > > ------------------------------Message: 4Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 18:06:59 -0800From: James Gifford To: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: <56566943.10604 at gmail.com>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowedI wonder if it's worth considering the ethical element here as well. Surely alcoholism is not an ethical issue in itself -- very often people will act out in ethically dubious ways due to their addictions, but the addiction itself is ethically neutral.Durrell drank, and while that certainly shaped some of his bad behavior, it's not really a thing unto itself. Someone like Lowry made alcoholism an integral part of the work. Hemingway made drink figure in the text as a marker for self-censorship. Durrell, Joyce, Barnes, et al. don't strike me in the same way.Cheers,JamesOn 2015-11-25 5:11 PM, Marc Piel wrote:> Surely you cannot compare wine (11?) and whisky(>45?)> Marc------------------------------Message: 5Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:17:46 -0800From: Bruce Redwine To: James Gifford ,	James Gifford	Cc: Bruce Redwine Subject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"James,I?m not sure what you mean by ?an ethical issue.? That is not what I?m talking about, rather what drove Durrell to alcoholism. The cause is what interests me. On the other hand, as a critic pointed out long ago, Durrell?s ?toper? in Bitter Lemons is espoused as a big virtue. (I'm relying on memory here and could have it wrong.?) My understanding of British toper is that it refers to a ?drunkard.? Maybe the British sense also connotes being able to ?hold one?s own.? That is, a kind of ?manliness.? Drink in Hemingway is excess, to wit, Colonel Cantrell?s drinking problems in Across the River. I don?t see any ?self-censorship? involved, although the colonel?s heart disease may be mitigating factor.Bruce> On Nov 25, 2015, at 6:06 PM, James Gifford  wrote:> > I wonder if it's worth considering the ethical element here as well. Surely alcoholism is not an ethical issue in itself -- very often people will act out in ethically dubious ways due to their addictions, but the addiction itself is ethically neutral.> > Durrell drank, and while that certainly shaped some of his bad behavior, it's not really a thing unto itself. Someone like Lowry made alcoholism an integral part of the work. Hemingway made drink figure in the text as a marker for self-censorship. Durrell, Joyce, Barnes, et al. don't strike me in the same way.> > Cheers,> James> > On 2015-11-25 5:11 PM, Marc Piel wrote:>> Surely you cannot compare wine (11?) and whisky(>45?)>> Marc> > _______________________________________________> ILDS mailing list> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Message: 6Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 17:33:09 +1100From: Denise Tart & David Green To: "ilds at lists.uvic.ca" Subject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"Ah, alcohol, my favourite subject. Well, one of them. Marc Piel is right. There is big difference between sipping on the wine and hitting the whiskey. Two and a half bottles of wine taken over a long day - Durrell started about 10am - will not cause drunkenness in a seasoned drinker as Durrell was and was a level of daily consumption not uncommon in Provence then and indeed now. But if you put the Vieux Marc, a strong spirit, on top of this things get ugly and from my research, this is when lord Larry could become an ugly drunk as Sappho and others attest. Durrell lived in age of heavy drinking and smoking which in our increasingly sanitised, health conscious world is hard to imagine. It may be he did not stand out all that much among his own set. Ok, a toper is a big drinker, not necessarily a drunkard. There an element of the heroic about it with the Viking God Thor described as a mighty eater and toper. As to the cliche of the alcoholic writer; many are alcoholics, some ! are writers, others builders labourers, some academics or school teachers and others even leaders of nations. What makes people alcoholics, and I think Durrell was one all his adult life, is not easy to answer but in terra Australis we have a few sayings: beer makes you feel the way you should feel without beer, I drink to make other people interesting, a day without wine is a day without sunshine, the purpose of wine is to bring happiness to man - and so on. Durrell was a pisspot, his brother was worse but not violent. Larry was ok on the wine but when got seriously onto to hard stuff there was often, as the Irish say, a fight in every bottle.David Whitewine - Richmond Grove Chardonnay.Sent from my iPad> On 26 Nov 2015, at 2:17 pm, Bruce Redwine  wrote:> > James,> > I?m not sure what you mean by ?an ethical issue.? That is not what I?m talking about, rather what drove Durrell to alcoholism. The cause is what interests me. On the other hand, as a critic pointed out long ago, Durrell?s ?toper? in Bitter Lemons is espoused as a big virtue. (I'm relying on memory here and could have it wrong.?) My understanding of British toper is that it refers to a ?drunkard.? Maybe the British sense also connotes being able to ?hold one?s own.? That is, a kind of ?manliness.? Drink in Hemingway is excess, to wit, Colonel Cantrell?s drinking problems in Across the River. I don?t see any ?self-censorship? involved, although the colonel?s heart disease may be mitigating factor.> > Bruce> > > > > >> On Nov 25, 2015, at 6:06 PM, James Gifford  wrote:>> >> I wonder if it's worth considering the ethical element here as well. Surely alcoholism is not an ethical issue in itself -- very often people will act out in ethically dubious ways due to their addictions, but the addiction itself is ethically neutral.>> >> Durrell drank, and while that certainly shaped some of his bad behavior, it's not really a thing unto itself. Someone like Lowry made alcoholism an integral part of the work. Hemingway made drink figure in the text as a marker for self-censorship. Durrell, Joyce, Barnes, et al. don't strike me in the same way.>> >> Cheers,>> James>> >>> On 2015-11-25 5:11 PM, Marc Piel wrote:>>> Surely you cannot compare wine (11?) and whisky(>45?)>>> Marc>> >> _______________________________________________>> ILDS mailing list>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds> > _______________________________________________> ILDS mailing list> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Message: 7Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:02:52 -0800From: James Gifford To: ilds Listserv Subject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: <56572D2C.9070606 at gmail.com>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowedHi Bruce,> I?m not sure what you mean by ?an ethical issue.?I'm writing a small piece on Malcolm Lowry at the moment, and that's probably shaping my thoughts. He was, by all accounts, an alcoholic of the first order, and this shapes the works in many ways (much of it deliberate on his part). However, in the critical work, there's still often a tendency to look on his drinking as if it were a moral failing -- a failing, certainly, but I'm skeptical of the ethical or moral tone that comes up, even if it prompted other ethical issues. The last time I taught /Under the Volcano/ I looked through a handful of books on alcoholism and literature, and this seemed widespread. There might be more recent work that defies this high proof "puritan" spirit {sorry}, but I haven't looked carefully enough to really say (I like booze, but not that much!).> That is not what I?m> talking about, rather /what/ drove Durrell to alcoholism.That is, indeed, a different matter. I tend to hesitate over those speculations since it's all too easy to say "an unhappy childhood, and Durrell didn't undergo psychoanalysis or other ways of interrogating those personal demons. He did write of the fracture between "mother" India and "father" England as motivating some of his concerns, but as David points out, the drinking was also very much a part of his time and place. There are the geo-political and personal stresses too of his life from 1939 through 1957 that I'd suspect anyone would struggle under, and later Claude's death, failed relationships, Sappho's death, etc... There are an abundance of reasons.We might look to Durrell's biggest "toper" though: Pursewarden. Durrell gives him personal and professional reasons to drink, but I'd tend to resist easy biographical essentialisms there too.> That is, a kind of> ?manliness.?The issue of masculinity hasn't really been explored in Durrell, but like Hemingway or Henry Miller, I tend to see it as ironical. Durrell makes his alter ego in /Pied Piper of Lovers/ tall (and racially Anglo-Indian, a term he applied culturally to himself). There's also a masculine economy at work with women as currency of exchange between men (Darley - Nessim [via Melissa & Justine]), but at the same time there are the disruptions of that masculine heteronormativity with Melissa cast as the bee carrying pollen, Justine as the active agent in the first book of the Quartet (not Nessim), and so forth.In contrast, what of "manliness" and the most manly fellows in Durrell's works? Keats comes to mind, but not in relation to drink. Most of the others, much like Hemingway in some respects, prove to be deeply wounded in their masculine identity and out to recuperate themselves in ways that just don't work well.> Drink in Hemingway is excess, to wit....I'm thinking of things like Jake in /The Sun Also Rises/ or alcohol across /in our time/. Getting "tight" stands in for what's unspoken. "Have a drink" fairly explicitly displaces "tell me what you're feeling." Jake drinks rather than talk about his war wound, and Brett does the same rather than discuss her sexual desires, yet both say they don't want to drink anymore (meaning they want a resolution that isn't possible). I think of drink in the "Ag" story of /In Our Time/ (chapter 10 of the 1924 edition) where "it was understood" but not discussed, and where the young man so much like Hemingway restores his wounded masculinity by proving himself on a "shop girl," and in doing so contracts gonorrhea. The point, I think, for Hemingway is that such "manliness" doesn't do manly men any good nor the women they're with... After all, not all men in patriarchy get to be patriarchs, and even then such a position limits the subject position in important ways. But how to talk about that in his time and place? I see Durrell subverting the same norms in similar ways, but maybe with more anxiety.I think Said suggests in one of his lectures that readers would want to see themselves as inhabiting the exciting sexual adventures of Durrell's Alexandrian colonials (or am I thinking of Vassanji's lecture in Ottawa?). I must admit I simply don't see it that way and have never felt the desire to be like Darley -- he seems to be doing rather poorly in many respects... I certainly don't see him or Nessim as "manly" in any way that calls out as desirable.A close reading of a poem like "Elegy on the Closing of the French Brothels" might be productive for this.All best,James------------------------------Message: 8Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:41:32 +0000From: mail at durrelllibrarycorfu.orgTo: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18Message-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"As a postscript to my message about LD, alcohol and madness, here's the opening of my chapter on TUNC /NUNQUAM, entitled 'SPERECTOMY', for those who don't have access to a copy of the 2nd edition.The entire book will be available in the New Year online on the soon-to-be-completed new website of the Durrell Library of Corfu, along with Brewster Chamberlin's CHRONOLOGY and other textsRP SperectomyAfter the completion of The Alexandria Quartet, Durrell wassilent as a novelist for eight years. Tuncand Nunquam mark a caesura in the thought patterns whichcharacterise both the Quartet and theQuintet, because Durrell?s mindscapehad deepened and darkened as he came closer to knowing the real nature ofmadness. In these books there is an edge to Durrell?s voice which we do notencounter elsewhere in his work, and which fuels the madness, the rage and thecapacity for revolt which culminates in this Irish refusal. His disillusionwith the modern world led him towards a great act of refusal and, as we haveseen, his notebooks indicate the extent to which he had canvassed despair.Madness pervades Tunc and Nunquam as surely and as thoroughly aspassion invests the Quartet, markingDurrell?s return to the central problem of Hamlet and thus the need tounderstand history as the record of man?s intercourse with woman, the lexiconof culture. Together, these novels constitute a statement abo! ut writing which marksa turning-point in the relationship of literature to life. This chapter is concerned primarilywith Durrell?s methods in approaching the nature of the despair which heexperienced in the face of the collapse of culture and, with it, the collapseor excision of hope.[1]Partly Durrell knew this to be inevitable, and partly he still believed in the?miracle?: in Nunquam Julian insists,like any Irishman, ?If one does not live on hopes in this life what else isthere to live on?? (Nunquam 142);whereas in Quinx we will be told ?byhoping, wishing and foreseeing we are doing something contrary to nature. Cogito is okay but spero makes man out of the featureless animal of Aristotle: goneastray in the forebrain? (Quintet1195). When, however, in the ?Postface? to Nunquam,he said that the book was an attempt to place a signpost in ?the notion ofculture? (Nunquam 285), Durrellintended to encapsulate the perhaps greater notion of the metaphor  as the fons et origo ofculture: You can touch the quiddity, the nub ofthe idea of a culture only if you realise that it comes out of an act ofassociation of which the primal genetic blueprint in the strictest biologicalsense is the uniting of the couple, man and woman. In the compact and the seed(Nunquam 87). ?Woman? is thus the question to which the answer,in theory, is ?man? and vice versa,but despite Durrell?s pursuit of Blake?s ?lineaments of gratified desire? inthe Quartet, it is only in The Revolt that this becomesself-evident. The ?revolt? or ?refusal? is predicatedin the idea of a culture which has degenerated into mere civilisation.Association, which we have seen as the essential condition of the field, beginsin the copula of the verb ?to be? and is proven in the courts of love. For Durrell,this represented the key to all human endeavour, and in particular to that ofwriting, to the imagination. Without the twin elements of ?the seed? (sexualignition) and ?the compact? (mutual intellection), man would hang as theimpotent conjunction between principles. As the world-expression of theprinciple of association, the ubiquitous ?Firm? of Merlins embodies anuxorious, voracious impotence masquerading as the svelte efficiency of an artform. Against it, the man-principle, ?Felix? (happy), and the woman-principle,?Benedicta? (blessed), exercise their refusal, and in the face of it theyplunge into madness. ------------------------------------------------------------[1] Cf. S. Rushdie, Midnight?s Children (London: Cape, 1981) p. 437.-----Original Message-----From: ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca [mailto:ilds-request at lists.uvic.ca]Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 03:00 PMTo: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18Send ILDS mailing list submissions to	ilds at lists.uvic.caTo subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit	https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ildsor, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to	ilds-request at lists.uvic.caYou can reach the person managing the list at	ilds-owner at lists.uvic.caWhen replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specificthan "Re: Contents of ILDS digest..."Today's Topics: 1. Re: Indian Mertaphysics (Rick Schoff) 2. Alcoholism (James Gifford) 3. Re: Alcoholism (Bruce Redwine)----------------------------------------------------------------------Message: 1Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 08:40:40 -0500From: Rick Schoff To: james.d.gifford at gmail.com, ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: Re: [ilds] Indian MertaphysicsMessage-ID:	Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"As new to the list, I find these discussions fascinating. As I'vementioned, I am simply an avid reader of Durrell, and have reread thefiction in particular many times. I've re! ad one informative but notparticularly interesting bigraphy, as well as numerous articles aboutDurrell over the years. I recently found a copy of Richard Pine's"Mindscape" and look forward to reading that.In reading comments by scholars, some of whom spent ime with Durrell, andseeing issues raised such as professed unhappiness, boredom, violence infiction and real life, and self-loathing - I couldn't help but recallnumerous references over the years to Durrell's use of alcohol. I oftenhesitate to read biographical material about artists whose work I greatlyadmire, but having delved a little into Durrell's life, I couldn't helpwondering what effect Durrell's alleged steady drinking might have had onhis life and work. I understand he was a ferociously intelligent man withboundless energy, who led a fascinatingly exotic life. I saw one comment bysomeone who knew him (I don't recall who) that relayed that when writingDurrell lived on the 'edge of madness'. I couldn't help but w! onder aboutthe psycholgocal aspects.For many reasons, I proffer this issue very tentatively, but my interestand curiosity have gotten the better of me. 'Alcohol and the writer' isalmost a cliche, but I don't find anything of Durrell's cliched. He was anoriginal.- Rick SchoffOn Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 3:09 PM, James Gifford wrote:> Hello all,>> These are helpful comments, Gulshan. One small correction -- the> "Forgetting A Homeless Colonial" is my own piece in /jouvert/, which is> online:>> http://english.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v6i1-2/giffor.htm>> I'm glad to hear it was of use! For anyone who doesn't know, the /Pied> Piper of Lovers/ and /Panic Spring/ editions are in stock for the various> European Amazon sites via their lightning service. I don't think that> applies to India, but they're still very much in print.>> I'm also glad for your comments on Elizabeth Gilbert. What you call> touching innocence is really a material legacy of colonialism. We have> this in Canada as well, and it's at least good for tourism revenues, but it> incurs costs to! o... I tend to see Durrell as very clear eyed on that point> in its various complexities.>> All best,> James> _______________________________________________> ILDS mailing list> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds>-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Message: 2Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 07:48:57 -0800From: James Gifford To: ilds at lists.uvic.caSubject: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: <5655D869.5040800 at gmail.com>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowedWelcome to the listserv Rick!The alcoholic writer can be a cliche mainly because there are so many ready examples (Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Lowry, &c.). Often there can be a tendency to diagnose from a distance (self-medicating for depression & such), but I'm dubious of those kinds of conversations with dead people. I've never been sure how to read the matter in the fiction for Durrell -- for Hemingway! , "drunk" or "tight" carry broader meanings, almost allegorical, and certainly a conscious part of the construction of the text. I don't really see the same in Durrell, although it could be interesting to be convinced otherwise.There is a bit of shift in alcohol across the works as well. In /Pied Piper of Lovers/ (1935) there isn't much alcohol at all, apart from a peculiar cocktail at a party (bunny hug) and a first juvenile indulgence. By /Panic Spring/ (1937), there's an empty bottle of gin, but not for Durrell's alter ego Walsh. From around the same time biographically, Theodore Stephanides recounts Durrell and Miller discovering a Corfiot cafe with much English gin, to their great satisfaction (in Stephanides' memoirs from James Brigham's papers).After that, all bets are off... Biographically, MacNiven presents the mid-1950s as particularly liquid and the 1980s as especially so, for different reasons.All best,JamesOn 2015-11-25 5:40 AM, Rick Schoff wrote:> As new to the list, I find these discussions fascinating. As I've> mentioned, I am ! simply an avid reader of Durrell, and have reread the> fiction in particular many times. I've read one informative but not> particularly interesting bigraphy, as well as numerous articles about> Durrell over the years. I recently found a copy of Richard Pine's> "Mindscape" and look forward to reading that.>> In reading comments by scholars, some of whom spent ime with Durrell,> and seeing issues raised such as professed unhappiness, boredom,> violence in fiction and real life, and self-loathing - I couldn't help> but recall numerous references over the years to Durrell's use of> alcohol. I often hesitate to read biographical material about artists> whose work I greatly admire, but having delved a little into Durrell's> life, I couldn't help wondering what effect Durrell's alleged steady> drinking might have had on his life and work. I understand he was a> ferociously intelligent man with boundless energy, who led a> fascinatingly exotic life. I saw one comment by someone wh! o knew him (I> don't recall who) that relayed that when writing Durrell lived on the> 'edge of madness'. I couldn't help but wonder about the psycholgocal> aspects.>> For many reasons, I proffer this issue very tentatively, but my interest> and curiosity have gotten the better of me. 'Alcohol and the writer' is> almost a cliche, but I don't find anything of Durrell's cliched. He was> an original.>> - Rick Schoff------------------------------Message: 3Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:18:34 -0800From: Bruce Redwine To: James Gifford ,	James Gifford	Cc: Bruce Redwine Subject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: <8DA02DE7-300C-4C9C-8468-909E42C276A1 at earthlink.net>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"In his latter years, alcoholism became a big problem for Durrell. Read his memoir A Smile in the Mind?s Eye (1980) and you?ll see his own account of much alcohol he was consuming on a daily basis. I seem to recall it was in excess of 2 1/2 bottles of wine a day. Living "on the edge of madness? is Sappho Jane Durrell?s expression. She also calls her father a ! ?demonic and aggressive drunkard? (Granta 37 [1991]) and says he used his liver ?like a punching bag.? I don?t recall alcohol becoming a fixture of Durrell?s writings until Bitter Lemons (1957), where I first learned the British term toper. A critic at the time pointed out its prominent use. Durrell and alcohol make me think of Lytton Strachey?s End of General Gordon (1918). The general had two obsessions: the Old Testament and the whiskey bottle. He would periodically go off on his binges. Strachey comments that ?the true drunkenness lay elsewhere.? ?Elsewhere? was not a matter of religiosity, rather some un! defined personal ?demon.? Same with Durrell, in my opinion.Bruce> On Nov 25, 2015, at 7:48 AM, James Gifford wrote:> > Welcome to the listserv Rick!> > The alcoholic writer can be a cliche mainly because there are so many ready examples (Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Lowry, &c.). Often there can be a tendency to diagnose from a distance (self-medicating f! or depression & such), but I'm dubious of those kinds of conversations with dead people. I've never been sure how to read the matter in the fiction for Durrell -- for Hemingway, "drunk" or "tight" carry broader meanings, almost allegorical, and certainly a conscious part of the construction of the text. I don't really see the same in Durrell, although it could be interesting to be convinced otherwise.> > There is a bit of shift in alcohol across the works as well. In /Pied Piper of Lovers/ (1935) there isn't much alcohol at all, apart from a peculiar cocktail at a party (bunny hug) and a first juvenile indulgence. By /Panic Spring/ (1937), there's an empty bottle of gin, but not for Durrell's alter ego Walsh. From around the same time biographically, Theodore Stephanides recounts Durrell and Miller discovering a Corfiot cafe with much English gin, to their great satisfaction (in Stephanides' memoirs from James Brigham's papers).> > After that, all bets are off... Biographically, MacNiven presents the mid-1950s as particularly liquid and the 19! 80s as especially so, for different reasons.> > All best,> James> > On 2015-11-25 5:40 AM, Rick Schoff wrote:>> As new to the list, I find these discussions fascinating. As I've>> mentioned, I am simply an avid reader of Durrell, and have reread the>> fiction in particular many times. I've read one informative but not>> particularly interesting bigraphy, as well as numerous articles about>> Durrell over the years. I recently found a copy of Richard Pine's>> "Mindscape" and look forward to reading that.>> >> In reading comments by scholars, some of whom spent ime with Durrell,>> and seeing issues raised such as professed unhappiness, boredom,>> violence in fiction and real life, and self-loathing - I couldn't help>> but recall numerous references over the years to Durrell's use of>> alcohol. I often hesitate to read biographical material about artists>> whose work I greatly admire, but having delved a little into Durrell's>> life, I couldn't help wondering what effect Durrel! l's alleged steady>> drinking might have had on his life and work. I understand he was a>> ferociously intelligent man with boundless energy, who led a>> fascinatingly exotic life. I saw one comment by someone who knew him (I>> don't recall who) that relayed that when writing Durrell lived on the>> 'edge of madness'. I couldn't help but wonder about the psycholgocal>> aspects.>> >> For many reasons, I proffer this issue very tentatively, but my interest>> and curiosity have gotten the better of me. 'Alcohol and the writer' is>> almost a cliche, but I don't find anything of Durrell's cliched. He was>> an original.>> >> - Rick Schoff-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Subject: Digest Footer_______________________________________________ILDS mailing listILDS at lists.uvic.cahttps://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds------------------------------End of ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 18*************************************-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Message: 9Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 10:06:58 -0600From: William Apt To: ilds at lists.uvic.caCc: Denise Tart & David Green Subject: Re: [ilds] AlcoholismMessage-ID: Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8""I drink to make other people interesting." Now that's some high level stuff! WILLIAM APTAttorney at Law812 San Antonio St, Ste 401Austin TX 78701512/708-8300512/708-8011 FAX> On Nov 26, 2015, at 12:33 AM, Denise Tart & David Green  wrote:> > Ah, alcohol, my favourite subject. Well, one of them. Marc Piel is right. There is big difference between sipping on the wine and hitting the whiskey. Two and a half bottles of wine taken over a long day - Durrell started about 10am - will not cause drunkenness in a seasoned drinker as Durrell was and was a level of daily consumption not uncommon in Provence then and indeed now. But if you put the Vieux Marc, a strong spirit, on top of this things get ugly and from my research, this is when lord Larry could become an ugly drunk as Sappho and others attest. Durrell lived in age of heavy drinking and smoking which in our increasingly sanitised, health conscious world is hard to imagine. It may be he did not stand out all that much among his own set. Ok, a toper is a big drinker, not necessarily a drunkard. There an element of the heroic about it with the Viking God Thor described as a mighty eater and toper. As to the cliche of the alcoholic writer; many are alcoholics, som! e are writers, others builders labourers, some academics or school teachers and others even leaders of nations. What makes people alcoholics, and I think Durrell was one all his adult life, is not easy to answer but in terra Australis we have a few sayings: beer makes you feel the way you should feel without beer, I drink to make other people interesting, a day without wine is a day without sunshine, the purpose of wine is to bring happiness to man - and so on. Durrell was a pisspot, his brother was worse but not violent. Larry was ok on the wine but when got seriously onto to hard stuff there was often, as the Irish say, a fight in every bottle.> > David Whitewine - Richmond Grove Chardonnay.> > Sent from my iPad> >> On 26 Nov 2015, at 2:17 pm, Bruce Redwine  wrote:>> >> James,>> >> I?m not sure what you mean by ?an ethical issue.? That is not what I?m talking about, rather what drove Durrell to alcoholism. The cause is what interests me. On the other hand, as a critic pointed out long ago, Durrell?s ?toper? in Bitter Lemons is espoused as a big virtue. (I'm relying on memory here and could have it wrong.?) My understanding of British toper is that it refers to a ?drunkard.? Maybe the British sense also connotes being able to ?hold one?s own.? That is, a kind of ?manliness.? Drink in Hemingway is excess, to wit, Colonel Cantrell?s drinking problems in Across the River. I don?t see any ?self-censorship? involved, although the colonel?s heart disease may be mitigating factor.>> >> Bruce>> >> >> >> >> >>> On Nov 25, 2015, at 6:06 PM, James Gifford  wrote:>>> >>> I wonder if it's worth considering the ethical element here as well. Surely alcoholism is not an ethical issue in itself -- very often people will act out in ethically dubious ways due to their addictions, but the addiction itself is ethically neutral.>>> >>> Durrell drank, and while that certainly shaped some of his bad behavior, it's not really a thing unto itself. Someone like Lowry made alcoholism an integral part of the work. Hemingway made drink figure in the text as a marker for self-censorship. Durrell, Joyce, Barnes, et al. don't strike me in the same way.>>> >>> Cheers,>>> James>>> >>>> On 2015-11-25 5:11 PM, Marc Piel wrote:>>>> Surely you cannot compare wine (11?) and whisky(>45?)>>>> Marc>>> >>> _______________________________________________>>> ILDS mailing list>>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca>>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds>> >> _______________________________________________>> ILDS mailing list>> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca>> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds> _______________________________________________> ILDS mailing list> ILDS at lists.uvic.ca> https://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds-------------- next part --------------An HTML attachment was scrubbed...URL: ------------------------------Subject: Digest Footer_______________________________________________ILDS mailing listILDS at lists.uvic.cahttps://lists.uvic.ca/mailman/listinfo/ilds------------------------------End of ILDS Digest, Vol 103, Issue 19*************************************
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